Macbeth Had a Cleft Habitus, Sometimes Propaganda is Moral, and Social Mobility is Like Killing the King

“Macbeth teaches its audience a moral lesson beyond killing is wrong, since it is unquestioningly alright to kill your fellow man at war, nor even regicide is wrong as King Macbeth is justly slain at the end (no spoiler alerts on a four centuries old play), but that it is wrong to disturb the social order. […]

Perhaps Bernays’ concept of propaganda is too broad? Can we consider, for example, Aesop’s fables as propaganda? […]

t is also difficult to examine how much luck was involved in creating my situation because, like Bourdieu who first theorised about habitus, my class mobility is an exception to the rule about how our inherited capitals, our origins, determine our destinations. […]

At what point does doing what modern society requires of one to get ahead, perhaps abandoning the class interests as a whole yet still working towards more justice and opportunities for those like myself that want to move up, equate to killing the king?” … More Macbeth Had a Cleft Habitus, Sometimes Propaganda is Moral, and Social Mobility is Like Killing the King

The Responsibility of Public Intellectuals in Holding Governments to Account | The Diffusion of Responsibility in Bureaucracy | The Connection Between the Holocaust & Welfare Cuts | Dedicated to Hannah Arendt

“The diffusion of responsibility is the phenomena whereby one considers that one is less responsible for some action when others are present- they absorb some of the responsibility or another might even be perceived to take it all, for example in cases where an authority is present. The government is not only not the bystander it wants us to think it is, but it has the knowledge and power to act so is responsible nevertheless. Public intellectuals, including social scientists, need to reinforce this idea or things will never change and we similarly act as irresponsible deferrers of responsibility. Those individuals responsible for disability assessments that label dying people fit for work, cut their benefits, and might as well just kill those they assess, should be vilified until held to account. As an extreme example, but using the same logic, if we don’t hold these people to account, then the Nazis who “just drove the trains” are not culpable for their role in the holocaust.” … More The Responsibility of Public Intellectuals in Holding Governments to Account | The Diffusion of Responsibility in Bureaucracy | The Connection Between the Holocaust & Welfare Cuts | Dedicated to Hannah Arendt

The indignity of service work | My experiences as a fast-food worker | Part 7 of 7

“Although after years of higher education have allowed me to reflect on the experience and articulate it, these experiences were hardly unique and reflect the harsh, dull reality of millions of workers. It’s not difficult to find these types of critique throughout the world of contemplative thought. I only repeat them here as examples to highlight the point that this kind of criticism of our working life is not uncommon, however I feel that much of this critique does not offer much in the way of realistic ways out of this predicament. I think a key part of overcoming these obstacles is realising that the social position of the worker is the most important category that links these situations and imbues those subordinate to them with common interests to transcend the current system.” … More The indignity of service work | My experiences as a fast-food worker | Part 7 of 7

In Defense of Bourdieu | Critical Commentary on Dylan Riley’s “Bourdieu’s Class Theory” in new journal: Catalyst by Jacobin Magazine

“This article is a critical commentary, hopefully also comically polemical, on an article by Dylan Riley, professor of sociology at UC Berkeley, written in the new journal Catalyst in Spring 2017. I think his article does an injustice to Bourdieu and those scholars that have continued to develop his sociology. It is an extremely long and thorough, although still not as thorough as it could be, article which I hope succeeds in at least combating Riley’s criticisms, many of which seem almost slanderous to me. I hope this article also provides a decent introduction to Bourdieu’s sociology for anyone interested. ” … More In Defense of Bourdieu | Critical Commentary on Dylan Riley’s “Bourdieu’s Class Theory” in new journal: Catalyst by Jacobin Magazine

What Do Final Year BSc Sociology Students Actually Do? | Media & State Studies Seminar Part 2: Elections & New Media

“For this series, I would like to give a taste of what it is sociology, as one of the most denigrated sciences online, is actually like. The structure of this assignment, which I am reproducing here mostly unedited, was quite unusual compared to most work undertaken for this subject- essays and some fieldwork- but I think illustrates the variety of ways final year study is done.
In this seminar we discussed the extent to which TV can be considered a primary factor influencing voter decisions and how the increasing demographic shift towards a voter base constituted by, what some theorists call “the digital generation” implies an impending change in political strategy, if it has not already happened as some evidence suggests.” … More What Do Final Year BSc Sociology Students Actually Do? | Media & State Studies Seminar Part 2: Elections & New Media

What Do Final Year BSc Sociology Students Actually Do? | Media & State Studies Seminar Part 1: Simulated Identities & the Digital Generation

“For this series, I would like to give a taste of what it is sociology, as one of the most denigrated sciences online, is actually like. The structure of this assignment, which I am reproducing here mostly unedited, was quite unusual compared to most work undertaken for this subject- essays and some fieldwork- but I think illustrates the variety of ways final year study is done.
In this seminar we discussed whether the digital generation really exists and how we, as part of it, use technology.” … More What Do Final Year BSc Sociology Students Actually Do? | Media & State Studies Seminar Part 1: Simulated Identities & the Digital Generation

Refugee Crisis Continues | Keep Ignoring Everything

“I’m not sure whether this mirrors the sentiment of those currently caught up in Middle Eastern mass exodus. […] following is an edited excerpt of the beginning of Hannah Arendt’s 1943 essay “We Refugees”. […]
Should we be asking these Muslim refugees to change their culture in order to fit in with our Western way of life? […] We should not allow them to be treated as exceptions as the Jews were in Hitler’s Germany. I like to think we’re still far from anything like that, but the direction we’re going in when we turn a blind eye and ignore the lessons of history.” … More Refugee Crisis Continues | Keep Ignoring Everything

Personal Thoughts | January 2016 | On the Destruction of my (im)Potentias & Resignation as Resistance

” […] The kind of speed and mastery you get from playing an instrument allows you to do more, it unleashes potential, it increases the potentias that makes the soul of a man. The mastery of the pickle placement is like the increasing speed of a robot as technology develops- I don’t want to develop like a robot- I am not Aristotle’s talking tool. […] All of my possible futures, the options for how to be, burn away the more I become the burger robot, and the less human I feel. Theses futures don’t just disappear like usual, potentials for things that could have been but did not, they disappear into a true void of things that could never be and will never be- I am less free. Yet to resist means to quit, not to resign is the biggest sign of resignation.” … More Personal Thoughts | January 2016 | On the Destruction of my (im)Potentias & Resignation as Resistance

Personal Thoughts | September 2015 | BPS talk on Out-of-Body-Experiences; cherry-picking from religion; the arrogance of nu-atheist academics

“Blackmore is a hard determinist, or fatalist, meaning she believes that every action, including human action, has some cause going back to the start of the universe, which also means free will does not exist. Perhaps I was unable, in the short time I had, to explain my compatibilist position, which I believe follows from dialectical monism; however it seemed disingenuous for someone with academic authority to assert nomological determinism (fatalism) so confidently.” … More Personal Thoughts | September 2015 | BPS talk on Out-of-Body-Experiences; cherry-picking from religion; the arrogance of nu-atheist academics

On Makhaevism: Knowledge Capitalists and Authority-Discourses

“Jan Machajski’s big idea, Makhaevism recognised that simplified Marxist classifications of intellectuals as proletarian ignored the privilege they had due to them possessing an unfair monopoly on knowledge. An anarchist, he encouraged relentless questioning of authority. Foucault showed how knowledge discourses with public authority anonymously dominate individuals and legitimise governments. The solution to the problem of the knowledge capitalists is free education for all.” … More On Makhaevism: Knowledge Capitalists and Authority-Discourses